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Warmblood

By Scot Tolman

Y

esterday, my freshman-at-college daughter called her breeding-obsessed father to tell me she had just

read an interesting fact in her biology textbook: Records exist documenting the purposeful breeding of horses, and fig trees, dating back 5000 years. Coincidentally, my latest two copies of the same issue of In de Strengen quietly awaited my attention in Box 589, of the Spofford post office. In case you didn’t know, IdS is the KWPN’s biweekly publication. I don't know why I get two copies of every issue, but this publication is like a bible to me. I’d prefer to get the two copies rather than take the chance that a single copy could get lost in the mail...much to my wife’s chagrin, since I horde and pile all things paper. At any rate, the cover and focus of this particular issue is the new mare indices. How serendipitous that I happened to be writing this piece on the importance of marelines, especially since my first draft of the column evolved into something much darker than I had envisioned at its inception...think pagan cult of women slitting the throats of the genetically perfect men they have raised, immediately after these physical specimens of male perfection have impregnated the chosen females of their human breeding program...yes, you and my editor are both ultimately relieved that fate interceded in my creative process. Since I assume that most readers of Warmbloods

Today are women, this next statement may sound a little drastic, but you will understand it perfectly: Males are really only good for one thing; once they're done, generationally speaking, you might as well get rid of them and move on. (Hence, my first draft, based on the allegory of pagan women slitting the throats of their breeding males immediately post insemination.) I’m sure if we could have access to these breeding records from 5000 years ago, it’s not the mares that made the transition from the sex act to the spit over the fire in front of the proverbial cave. Oh, no. From the beginning, the mares have stood happily consuming some early version of Strategy while their boyfriends were slowly roasting to a medium rare.

58 May/June 2010

Now, slow down, all of you who suddenly are

experiencing the horrific vision of an equine version of a pig roast bludgeoning your conscience! I’m not advocating we cultivate a gustatory interest in freshly roasted stallion. I’m advocating that we, contemporary North American Warmblood breeders, stop putting so much focus on the male component of the breeding equation. Let’s put things into perspective for a minute here. The hype is always on the guys. Look at men’s sports versus women’s. Who gets the big paychecks and the big TV audiences? The same is true for horse breeding. How few people trickle to the national mare shows in comparison to the thousands that flock

to each country/region’s stallion show? How many magazine’s yearly plans include an annual “Stallion Issue”? Do any have an annual “Mare Issue”? We are a media-controlled society, which is slanted toward patriarchal hegemony. This is bad for breeding. What’s good for breeding is people like me who think each of his foundation mares deserves a comfy stall adjacent to the house—preferably the kitchen. I can see the conversation now. I’ve got the laptop adjusted so LaVita can see clearly; she's borrowing my reading glasses. “OK, LaVita. Bang once if you like this guy

and twice if you don’t.” Bang, bang. “No problem. Let me see if I can pull up the video of

Daddy Cool on youtube. Maybe you’ll like him.” Extreme? Maybe—especially if I want to stay

married! But you get the point. The heart of anyone’s breeding program is in the equine ladies. Men are really only good for one thing.

WT

Scot Tolman has been breeding Dutch Warmbloods for the past 20 years at Shooting Star Farm in Southwestern New Hampshire. Read more of Scot’s writing at

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